FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 17, 2012) –
The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development will host the fifth annual Idea State U competition this weekend in
search of top student entrepreneurs in the state. The competition includes students from Kentucky’s public
universities and provides cash awards to teams that develop the best business plans and concepts based on their
ideas for innovative products and services. The event is open to the public.
Twenty-four teams of graduate and undergraduate students will compete April 20-21, 2012, at the Lexington Center,
in Lexington. Up to $100,000 in combined prizes and awards will again make the event one of the nation’s largest
state-sponsored business plan competitions.
“The Idea State U competition fosters the type of innovative thought that helps drive our economy and build a
successful future,” Gov. Steve Beshear said. “Let’s encourage and embrace great ideas, because creative
entrepreneurial dreams are the first steps toward real-world, prosperous business ventures.”
All competition events will be held on Level 3 of the Lexington Center, starting on Friday, April 20, at 4:30 p.m.
ET, at which time the media and public will be invited to view table-top exhibits created by each team to
illustrate their concept or plan.
At 6:00 p.m., the “elevator pitch” contest will begin, during which one member from each team will summarize, or
“pitch,” the team’s business concept or business plan in 60 seconds or less before a panel of expert judges. The
elevator pitch winners will be announced that evening.
On Saturday morning, April 21, starting at 8 a.m., all teams will return to the convention center to deliver oral
presentations about their proposed business ventures. During this event, up to five members from each team will
deliver a 15-minute formal presentation supported by audio-visual images and data, followed by a 20-minute
question and answer and feedback session with the judges. Winners of the overall competition will be announced
after the conclusion of the oral presentations, around 3:00 p.m. on Saturday.
Kris Kimel, president and a founder of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation, will emcee the two-day
event. An author and contributor to numerous articles and reports on science, technology, entrepreneurship and
innovation, Kimel is widely recognized as an expert in the field of science and technology policy, programs and
entrepreneurship. He also founded the international IdeaFestival event held annually in Louisville.
“Supporting education in entrepreneurship helps build a culture of innovation that is vital to expanding
Kentucky’s economy,” said Cabinet for Economic Development Secretary Larry Hayes. The students not only learn the
mechanics of developing a business plan or concept, they also gain an awareness of the risks and rewards of
creating a new venture.”
Prior to the state-level competition, only a few of Kentucky’s eight public universities had programs focused on
business plan development, such as the University of Louisville’s Cardinal Challenge and Eastern Kentucky
University’s Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards. In response to the 2008 introduction of the state-level
competition, the universities without existing programs introduced their own contests or implemented new
entrepreneurship classes and selection processes to develop and choose their teams and entries.
Additional information about the Idea State U business concept and business plan competition is available online
at the competition website: www.IdeaStateU.com.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at
www.ThinkKentucky.com. Fans of the Cabinet for
Economic Development can also join the discussion on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ThinkKentucky or follow on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/ThinkKentucky.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency in Kentucky responsible for
creating new jobs and new investment in the state. New business investment in Kentucky in 2010 totaled
more than $2 billion with the creation of nearly 11,900 new jobs. Information on available development
sites, workforce training,incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other
resources is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.